Auction Report: Modern People’s Republic of China Stamps Brings $126,000

Group of about 50 People’s Republic of China stamps, including a rare block of four Golden Monkey stamps, was sold to a bidder in China for $126,000.

WAYNE, Pa. — A group of approximately 50 People’s Republic of China stamps garnered the top bid of $126,000 at a 500-lot, Internet-only auction of Chinese and Asian objects hosted by Gordon S. Converse & Company on Dec. 26.

The stamps, purchased by a bidder in China, were all 20th- and 21st-century examples and offered loose in a stack, not bound in an album.

“We were surprised the stamps did as well as they did, but we underestimated the value of the Golden Monkeys,” said Todd Converse of Gordon S. Converse & Company.

Featured at the event were stamps and currency, carved Zitan furniture and brush pots, seals and scrolls, bronze and jade, porcelain and bamboo. A lightly attended in-person preview was held at a gallery in nearby West Chester, Pa., and, according to Converse, most bids were offered via the Internet, with only a few phone and absentee bids taken.

Bids were offered by more than 300 registered bidders, who participated through LiveAuctioneers.com and Converse’s own website. The auction represented the largest in the firm’s history.

Large Chinese Qing Imperial green jade central seal with 18 smaller seals, all in a Zitan box, received a bid of $14,400, making it the second top lot in the auction.

Following are additional highlights from the auction (all prices quoted include a 20-percent buyer’s premium):

• A large Chinese Qing Dynasty Imperial jade central seal with 18 smaller seals in a Zitan box with finely carved cover was the sale’s second top lot, bringing $14,400. Also, a Chinese Qing Dynasty Imperial seal box with 36 spinach jade seals in a Zitan box garnered $7,200.

• A group of four Chinese currency bills brought $20,400 and a lot of six Chinese currency bills realized $16,800. Also, a lot of 318 early Chinese stamps from Qing Dynasty to the People’s Republic of China chalked up $4,200, a Chinese watercolor of leafy plants in a museum envelope went for $4,800, and a Chinese watercolor of lettering and crossed flags in a museum envelope rose to $10,500.

• A fine Chinese silk and metallic rug, with the gold metallic field suggesting it may belong to a group of rugs from the Imperial palaces of Beijing, commanded $13,200, making it the third top lot of the auction. Additionally, a 17-inch Chinese bronze statue with superior casting hit $3,000.

• A pair of Chinese Zitan chairs, with fine and sophisticated carving breezed to $10,200, a Chinese Huanghuali chest with very fine carving earned $4,200, and a Chinese famille rose porcelain tea pot from the Republic period decorated with a landscape scene achieved $3,000.

This pair of Chinese Zitan chairs with fine and sophisticated carving changed hands for $10,200.

• A set of four slightly damaged, framed 18th- or 19th-century double-paneled fine antique Chinese silk Kesi-like embroideries, apparently part of a set, gaveled for $2,400.

• A large Chinese Zitan vase stand with fine and sophisticated carving made $6,600, a pair of 29-inch-tall Chinese Huanghuali vase stands with very fine construction brought $3,000, a 16-page Chinese watercolor painting book sold for $3,600, and a 4-inch-tall famille verte lidded jar went to a determined bidder for $3,600.

Buoyed by the success of this auction, Gordon S. Converse & Company is planning another Internet-only Chinese and Asian sale, probably for sometime in March. A second, smaller auction may be held in the interim.